Inference is a “foundational skill” because inferring requires higher order thinking skills, it can be difficult for many students. However, it can be taught through explicit instruction in inferential strategies
What It Means To Infer
Stopping to think and rereading if necessary
Connecting what you know to the words and pictures
Recapping what has happened so far
Asking a question about what could happen next
Paying attention to details in the pictures
Thinking about what the words could mean
Talking to yourself and then stating an opinion about what you have read
Trying to picture it in your mind
Combining all the clues left by the author
Coming up with a conclusion, guess, or bigger idea
How to Teach Inference
a. We need to find clues to get some answers.
c. We need to add those clues to what we already know or have read.
d. There can be more than one correct answer.
e. We need to be able to support inferences.
Four questions that can be posed to students (Marzano 2010) to facilitate a discussion about inferences are:
1. What is my inference?
2. What information did I use to make this inference?
3. How good was my thinking?
4. Do I need to change my thinking?